Last blog we touched on important points to consider when setting your financial goals.
Just to recap a bit: Be sure to follow the 5 golden rules and set SMART goals:
S - specific
M - measurable
A - achievable
R - relevant
T - time-bound
It’s also crucial that you distinguish your Short-term vs Mid-term vs Long-term goals since this is also a key factor in helping you to decide where/how to invest your money. This is where you determine what length of time you want to commit to achieving said goals.
So… now that you’ve figured out what matters to you and you’ve actually set your goals, let’s delve a bit deeper into what comes next.
Giving your goals a value
It is critical that you attribute a dollar amount to these goals and understand what costs you’ll be looking at. For example. how much will that kitchen renovation cost? How much will you need for the kids’ university education? Knowing the figures will help you plan out how much you need to save.
The key to this is understanding what resources are available to you to help you achieve your goals. Analyse your earnings and therefore saving capability; consider your age, earning potential and monthly expenses. From there, you can start mapping out a plan.
You’ll need to establish a realistic budget and exercise discipline to ensure you stay on track. Keep monitoring your progress to ensure you’re consistently but give yourself some wriggle room to pivot your plans if necessary. It’s all part of the process.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ plan as individuals have different needs and some may be more complex than others. This makes it a bit more difficult to fully ensure you’re mapping out the right plan for you. Because of this, financial planning may seem daunting and be well out of your comfort zone, but who said you have to do it alone? The help of a professional can be beneficial. An adviser can help you with your long-term planning as well as being able to help you understand what your investment will be worth by the time you’re 65. Usually this will include your KiwiSaver and how much you can expect from the NZ Super upon reaching 65.
Even with all the information available to you, the business of financial planning can be a minefield and can challenge even the most financially savvy people. Getting an adviser to help you work out how best to achieve your goals as well as map out how your investments or savings will grow over time will help put you on the right track and keep you there.
A financial planner will also look at the risks and how best to diversify your portfolio in terms of that risk. For example, a conservative vs growth portfolio. When we talk about risk here, it’s not so much the risk of losing money, but the risk of volatility and you need to be invested for the long term to ride out that volatility. Here’s a great resource to help you understand volatility better.
Regardless of the financial goals you wish to achieve, one thing remains true... To reach them at the right point in your life; you will need to have a financial plan in place.